UKIP's Godfrey Bloom may indeed be a national embarrassment, as the Liberal Democrat leader in the European Parliament described him today, but he must also be a huge embarrassment to UKIP. Still, he's here to stay.
Bloom's heckling of Martin Schulz, the German leader of the Socialists & Democrats Group - "EIN REICH, EIN VOLK, EIN FUHRER!" was out of order by the standards of any Parliament, but what gets me is the way in which he pretends that the European Parliament practices different standards to that of other democratic assemblies.
I have little doubt that his words would have got him ejected from the House of Commons, especially if he had been heckling an MP with a Germanic-sounding name, and once ejected he would have been out for at least a day. Bloom was complaining again later in the day when ushers wouldn't let him return to participate in another debate. As he likes to wrap himself in the Union Flag he should learn how the UK Parliament works.
Nigel Farage, the UKIP leader who tries to present his party as a respectable alternative, should get rid of Bloom, but that would be difficult. The UKIP delegation arrived in the European Parliament last year with 13 members. Defections have already reduced their numbers to 11. Farage can't afford to let anyone else depart.